TORONTO, Feb. 16 /CNW/ - Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited ("Toronto Hydro" or the "utility") has powered up its construction programs to reinforce Toronto Hydro's electricity distribution system in 2010. The utility plans to invest more than $275 million to replace and upgrade its aging distribution system and improve service by reducing the number of power outages that are occurring in some neighbourhoods. Since launching its infrastructure renewal program in 2007, Toronto Hydro has invested approximately $420 million to upgrade its distribution system in Toronto, much of which was installed during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Power Up, Toronto Hydro's ambitious, long-term program includes replacing and upgrading transformers, power cables and substation equipment. To assist with implementing the Power Up program, since 2003, Toronto Hydro has hired more than 120 new apprentices into its workforce and plans to hire 40 additional apprentices by the end of 2010. This hiring plan reflects the utility's need to replace retiring workers. Approximately 600 employees will be eligible to retire by 2014, out of a workforce of 1,700. It takes approximately five years of training to become a fully certified power line worker. Job openings are posted at http://www.torontohydro.com/careers
Although Power Up is a city-wide initiative, in recent years, Toronto Hydro has concentrated its efforts on rebuild projects in northeast Scarborough and parts of North York. These communities have been identified as high-priority since they are mainly serviced by directly buried underground cable: cable that is housed below ground and is exposed to corrosion and shifting due to freezing and thawing conditions. Failures from this type of cable account for almost half of the power failures in the underground part of the distribution system.
The Power Up program also includes a customer information element. Before construction begins in an area, Toronto Hydro provides advance notification to help reduce any disruptions to the impacted community. These notifications focus on planned power interruptions that are necessary for the safety of work crews, road closures and other construction impacts that can be problematic for pedestrians and motorists. The utility also coordinates town hall meetings before large-scale construction projects are initiated to give affected customers answers to any questions they might have.
Since the construction program began in 2007, more than 24,000 customers have been contacted through our notification process and town hall meetings.
To learn more about how Toronto Hydro is investing in Toronto's electricity grid please visit www.torontohydro.com.
About Toronto Hydro:
Toronto Hydro Corporation is a holding company which is the sole shareholder of Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited. The principal business of Toronto Hydro Corporation is the distribution of electricity by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited which owns and operates an electricity distribution system that delivers electricity to approximately 690,000 customers located in the City of Toronto and also engages in Conservation and Demand Management activities.
SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation
For further information: For further information: Media contact: Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited, Denise Attallah, (416) 542-2636, Website: www.torontohydro.com